User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 104 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 81 out of 104
  2. Negative: 19 out of 104
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  1. DanielV
    Jun 22, 2009
    10
    You have to be into sports especially football to really appreciate this work.
  2. TylerD
    Jul 28, 2007
    10
    One of the best, if not THE best sports film of all time. Myself being a fan of Explosions in the Sky only improves how much I enjoyed the movie, as well. Billy Bob Thorton at his best.
  3. BillK
    Feb 4, 2005
    9
    Great movie. The book was better at fleshing out the characters, the movie was better at the showing the intensity of the game being played. Far better than the sugar-coated and overly cliched "Remember the Titans"..."Lights" players felt like real people. Flawed and not always likeable. And with a feeling of unsure open-endedness of life when the football is over.
  4. [Anonymous]
    Oct 10, 2004
    10
    This 5.5 average is crazy.. maybe you northerners dont understand... i live in texas and this couldnt be closer to the truth.. some details were a little off like the scarves in november (not in texas) and the fact that the Carter game was only a semifinal in real life.. still this movie is amazing and better than remember the titans about equal to hoosiers.
  5. JeffL.
    Oct 20, 2004
    7
    Billy Bob Thornton gives his third great, and entirely distinctive, performance of the past calendar year (following the brilliant Bad Santa and underrated The Alamo) as the coach of the Panthers, an Odessa, Texas, high school football team whose 1988 winning season is dramatically threatened by the injury of a gifted young player (Derek Luke of Antwone Fisher). If you love football, Billy Bob Thornton gives his third great, and entirely distinctive, performance of the past calendar year (following the brilliant Bad Santa and underrated The Alamo) as the coach of the Panthers, an Odessa, Texas, high school football team whose 1988 winning season is dramatically threatened by the injury of a gifted young player (Derek Luke of Antwone Fisher). If you love football, you'll enjoy the gritty gridiron action in the film; but if you hate football, this will confirm all your worst suspicions about the obsessiveness, cruelty and quasi-religious zealotry of many of the sport's players (and their parents), coaches, and especially fans. One complaint - the film is, at times, over-directed by half, with too much quick cutting and shaky, hand-held camerawork that at times makes The Blair Witch Project (which, though flawed, at least made logical use of that technique) look like a long-lost work of Robert Bresson. Expand
  6. TyB.
    Oct 30, 2004
    10
    Anyone who said tis movie sucked never played football obviously. This movie is about team character not individuals, If you like football Go see this.
  7. BrianK.
    Oct 9, 2004
    9
    Are you kidding me??? Now I play football and this is what it is really like besides the cheap shots and the parents! I lved this movie!! Great acting by everone! I liked it better than Remember The Titans!!!
  8. MTripp
    Oct 9, 2004
    4
    I like sports and Tim McGraw but this movie was hard to watch with the screen moving around "so" much! (Very bad filming) My freshman son even commented he was dizzy after watching the show. Tim McGraw's performance was great for about the 15 minutes you seen him thoughout the movie. He played a part you never would picture him as and did an "awesome" job. (that Dad should have been I like sports and Tim McGraw but this movie was hard to watch with the screen moving around "so" much! (Very bad filming) My freshman son even commented he was dizzy after watching the show. Tim McGraw's performance was great for about the 15 minutes you seen him thoughout the movie. He played a part you never would picture him as and did an "awesome" job. (that Dad should have been put away for the low self est. he gave his son) The threater was about 3/4 full and mostly all teenagers. I didn't like the drinking and sex shown between high school kids. There's enough of that going on that we don't need to promote it any more. Drinking and Drug are killing are kids and distraying family's everyday, we need to show better things for kids to do than that. It's amazing how much can be shown with underage kid acting those parts but on TV you can see alot of sex, drugs, killings and let "Dale Jr" swear on TV and he's fined. I think kids are exploded to worst things than a swear word. This was a high school movie for teen's and sports and I rated it only a 3-4 because of the poor quality of the filming and explosing drinking, sex and volience for among sports teams. The actors all did a good job and I credit them for their performance. Expand
  9. PMcKenna
    Jan 16, 2005
    8
    Strong depiction of a football obsessed Texas town. Great acting. Unfortunately tooks some liberties with the State finals as the Panthers lost that year to Carter in the semis. They never went to the finals that year.
  10. MarcusM
    Feb 7, 2005
    9
    A really good sports movie. Some cliche parts in the movie, but characters are genuine and the script was amazing. The ending was perfect and movie is based on true events. A MUST SEE! A++
  11. SweetBabe
    Mar 5, 2005
    10
    The best movie I have ever saw!!! The filming was great and it sent a wonderful message to everyone when they watched it. This movie is to good for words and you should really watch it. The acting is amazing and when you think about it, it's really different from all other movies becuase it doesn't end like all movies do. This movie was a joy to watch, and I hope one day The best movie I have ever saw!!! The filming was great and it sent a wonderful message to everyone when they watched it. This movie is to good for words and you should really watch it. The acting is amazing and when you think about it, it's really different from all other movies becuase it doesn't end like all movies do. This movie was a joy to watch, and I hope one day you'll see it! Expand
  12. RitaP.
    Jan 30, 2006
    9
    Great moving film, you don't need to love gridiron to throroughly enjoy it. If you rent the DVD, the special features especially the doco on the 88 Permian Panthers is well worth watching too.
  13. FraserW.
    Mar 12, 2006
    8
    In my opinion i look at Remember the Titans and The Longest Yard but none of them can even compare with Friday Night Lights.
  14. Jennifer
    Oct 11, 2004
    0
    Depressing and without any insight into the character development for anyone. As for the acting, it was if they wanted to get a paycheck and get the hell out of there. The worst part was the close ups with the camera jumping all over the screen. After a while it became so bad that I had to stay just to see if there was anything worth salvaging? Unfortunately, there wasn't. A total bomb.
  15. MarkB.
    Oct 12, 2004
    7
    It's a good thing that James "Radio" Kennedy, the mentally challenged kid played by Cuba Gooding, Jr. in Radio, the sentimental football drama released almost exactly a year ago, hung around the high school football team in Anderson, SC rather than the Odessa, TX one depicted here. Chances are, if he'd even come close to interrupting or disrupting a practice, the subhuman, It's a good thing that James "Radio" Kennedy, the mentally challenged kid played by Cuba Gooding, Jr. in Radio, the sentimental football drama released almost exactly a year ago, hung around the high school football team in Anderson, SC rather than the Odessa, TX one depicted here. Chances are, if he'd even come close to interrupting or disrupting a practice, the subhuman, mouth-breathing football worshippers of the town (which, according to Friday Night Lights, pretty much consists of ALL the town) would've beaten him to within a half-inch of his life and left him for dead near the exit ramp. Exceedingly well made but profoundly (and necessarily) depressing and disturbing, Peter Berg's account of the Panthers' 1988 season comes off as so virulently anti-football and anti-football culture that it makes North Dallas Forty look like Knute Rockne, All American by comparison! Don't blame the doctor, though, for accurately diagnosing the sickness (although, come to think of it, one of the film's characters does just that!) This is a town where gridiron boosterism degenerates to Nuremberg Rally levels; where the father who gets the most screen time is a drunken, abusive cretin (courageously played by country icon Tim McGraw) who harrasses his son repeatedly and endlessly about dropping the ball--if you ever wanted to make an argument for the mandatory sterilization of unfit fathers, there's Exhibit A! Even the superficially sympathetic coach (Billy Bob Thornton, following up Bad Santa and The Alamo with his third all-time world class performance) is in no way to be confused with the altruistic and heroic Davy Crockett; beneath all the apparent heart-to-heart talks with the players and Big Speeches in the locker room is a completely self-serving opportunist who sees his players not as human beings but only as means to his own survival. (If you're not convinced of the latter point, go back and study how Berg films the coach's removal of the players' labels in the final scenes.) With his relentless, nervous camerawork, use of dark, gritty textures and endless uncomfortably extreme close-ups, Berg has made a film that looks a whole lot more like a prison documentary than a sports movie, and I think that's the whole point: the team's moments of joy, triumph or elation are extremely fleeting while pain, agony and frustration are dwelt upon almost to the level of the crucifixion in a certain controversial Mel Gibson-made movie. (There's not even much fun to be had in the early, post-game party sequences: the two sexual encounters we see result immediately in emotional rawness not often seen outside the films of Neil LaBute.) Don't forget: the co-writer/director is the same Peter Berg who a few years ago gave us Very Bad Things, a slashing, darker-than-dark satire (which I think I was the only person in the world not related to Berg who actually liked!) about people who absolutely don't care who they hurt (or, more often, kill) to get their share of The American Dream. One word I hope to God nobody uses to describe Berg's current film is "inspirational"--unless, of course, it means inspiring Monday Night Football watchers to switch to watching the Lifetime Original Monday Night Movie with the missus and never watching football again! Expand
  16. StevieG
    Oct 16, 2004
    7
    This is a good sports movie. It is not one of the best ever made. It is not nearly as involving or detailed in characater as the book upon which the film is based. But it is involving and entertaining. Billy Bob does a great job as the coach dealing with pressure from all angles. The players are all credible. The games are shot well. It is refreshing that an american sports movie does not This is a good sports movie. It is not one of the best ever made. It is not nearly as involving or detailed in characater as the book upon which the film is based. But it is involving and entertaining. Billy Bob does a great job as the coach dealing with pressure from all angles. The players are all credible. The games are shot well. It is refreshing that an american sports movie does not end in the triumph of our heros. I was pleasantly surprised that the filmmakers did not succomb to what no doubt were Hollywood pressures to change the end. If you like sports movies, you will like this. It is not nearly the film it could have been, but it is good for what it is. Expand
  17. BlancoA.
    Oct 18, 2004
    8
    Billy Bob's speech to the kids at the end of the movie is worth the price of admission.
  18. JonG
    Oct 20, 2004
    5
    Boooooriiiiing. How formulaic can a football movie get? Friday Night Lights is the answer. However, I gave 5 points to the fact that the ending is what made it the slightest bit different and rectifies the sense of hope in the characters. This movie could have been better if it focused more on a particular relationship that intrigued me between an abusive father and his son who is trying Boooooriiiiing. How formulaic can a football movie get? Friday Night Lights is the answer. However, I gave 5 points to the fact that the ending is what made it the slightest bit different and rectifies the sense of hope in the characters. This movie could have been better if it focused more on a particular relationship that intrigued me between an abusive father and his son who is trying his hardest. Expand
  19. AndrewC.
    Oct 24, 2004
    8
    Brilliant movie. Thornton gives a great performance as the coach, not too down-to-earth, but not a maniac. One of the better sports movies of the past decade.
  20. Larry
    Dec 6, 2004
    0
    Somebody turn out the lights as this party was over before it begun. Just awful and made by amateurs holding a hand held camera that jumps all over the place. If you're ready for some football go somewhere else.
  21. Hershey
    Oct 27, 2004
    0
    Really sucked with little or no character development, terrible acting, except for Tim McGraw, who everyone hates. And the camera work is for hunger with closeups and the picture jumping all around. Unrealistic in that every tackle is of the bone crushing variety. The Coach doesn't care about winning only about having a job in a two bit town. Really awful.
  22. BrandonE.
    Oct 8, 2004
    10
    Amazing...on the edge of my seat the whole time...thorton was awesome not to mention mcgraw!! a great film...
  23. DoctorF.
    Oct 8, 2004
    10
    Absolutely terrific movie.
  24. Meschelle
    Oct 9, 2004
    2
    I hate this movie I was looking for something like Remeber the Titians, but I didn't get it. This movie did not give any background information on the Coach or Players.
  25. Fantasy
    Jan 30, 2005
    0
    Sucked at every level. I was nauseus from the jittery cameraman. I guess he hated what he was watching too. Depressing immature filmmaking at its worse.
  26. RayC.
    Jan 6, 2005
    10
    This film is all about heart, the heart it takes to rise up to the challege and the sacfrices you must surrender to achieve success.
  27. MikeM.
    Feb 12, 2005
    10
    I thought this movie was awsome there were some awsome hits. I love football, and i guess everyone else who likes football would love this movie too.
  28. jessied.
    Feb 16, 2005
    10
    This movie was the best ever.
  29. SusanM.
    Feb 3, 2005
    3
    Boring and pointless, unless you love, love, love football. I only gave it a 3 because I have a crush on Tim McGraw.
  30. DustinM.
    Apr 8, 2005
    10
    Right next to Remember the Titans.
  31. RoxanneR.
    Oct 10, 2004
    0
    Awful in every sense of the word. I don't know what made me sicker the jumping camera close ups or the terrible acting? If that weren't bad enough there was no feel to any of the characters as they were all as cold as ice. Depressing to say the least.
  32. janes
    Oct 12, 2004
    9
    I can't believe anyone would rate this movie a zero. That is absolutely ridiculous. Yes. the close-ups of the camera made you feel as if it were bumpy but it was completely necessary to get the total effect of what is happening at that moment. Football is a contact sport and the movement of the camera puts you there. The actors did a great job, a breakout role for Tim McGraw. Billy I can't believe anyone would rate this movie a zero. That is absolutely ridiculous. Yes. the close-ups of the camera made you feel as if it were bumpy but it was completely necessary to get the total effect of what is happening at that moment. Football is a contact sport and the movement of the camera puts you there. The actors did a great job, a breakout role for Tim McGraw. Billy Bob was perfect for role. The movie does a wonderful job depicting the life of this town and your heart is with the players and you are cheering for them all they way. Great FOOTBALL movie!! Expand
  33. MarkB.
    Oct 12, 2004
    7
    It's a good thing that James "Radio" Kennedy, the mentally challenged kid played by Cuba Gooding, Jr. in Radio, the sentimental football drama released almost exactly a year ago, hung around the high school football team in Anderson, SC rather than the Odessa, TX one depicted here. Chances are, if he'd even come close to interrupting or disrupting a practice, the subhuman, It's a good thing that James "Radio" Kennedy, the mentally challenged kid played by Cuba Gooding, Jr. in Radio, the sentimental football drama released almost exactly a year ago, hung around the high school football team in Anderson, SC rather than the Odessa, TX one depicted here. Chances are, if he'd even come close to interrupting or disrupting a practice, the subhuman, mouth-breathing football worshippers of the town (which, according to Friday Night Lights, pretty much consists of ALL the town) would've beaten him to within a half-inch of his life and left him for dead near the exit ramp. Exceedingly well made but profoundly (and necessarily) depressing and disturbing, Peter Berg's account of the Panthers' 1988 season comes off as so virulently anti-football and anti-football culture that it makes North Dallas Forty look like Knute Rockne, All American by comparison! Don't blame the doctor, though, for accurately diagnosing the sickness (although, come to think of it, one of the film's characters does just that!) This is a town where gridiron boosterism degenerates to Nuremberg Rally levels; where the father who gets the most screen time is a drunken, abusive cretin (courageously played by country icon Tim McGraw) who harrasses his son repeatedly and endlessly about dropping the ball--if you ever wanted to make an argument for the mandatory sterilization of unfit fathers, there's Exhibit A! Even the superficially sympathetic coach (Billy Bob Thornton, following up Bad Santa and The Alamo with his third all-time world class performance) is in no way to be confused with the altruistic and heroic Davy Crockett; beneath all the apparent heart-to-heart talks with the players and Big Speeches in the locker room is a completely self-serving opportunist who sees his players not as human beings but only as means to his own survival. (If you're not convinced of the latter point, go back and study how Berg films the coach's removal of the players' labels in the final scenes.) With his relentless, nervous camerawork, use of dark, gritty textures and endless uncomfortably extreme close-ups, Berg has made a film that looks a whole lot more like a prison documentary than a sports movie, and I think that's the whole point: the team's moments of joy, triumph or elation are extremely fleeting while pain, agony and frustration are dwelt upon almost to the level of the crucifixion in a certain controversial Mel Gibson-made movie. (There's not even much fun to be had in the early, post-game party sequences: the two sexual encounters we see result immediately in emotional rawness not often seen outside the films of Neil LaBute.) Don't forget: the co-writer/director is the same Peter Berg who a few years ago gave us Very Bad Things, a slashing, darker-than-dark satire (which I think I was the only person in the world not related to Berg who actually liked!) about people who absolutely don't care who they hurt (or, more often, kill) to get their share of The American Dream. One word I hope to God nobody uses to describe Berg's current film is "inspirational"--unless, of course, it means inspiring Monday Night Football watchers to switch to watching the Lifetime Original Monday Night Movie with the missus and never watching football again! Expand
  34. Fusichinucca
    Oct 12, 2004
    0
    Sucked about as bad as a movie could. I love sports but this was just disjointed. The coach and his family were about to be run out of town on a rail, and all they cared about was where he would next coach as if it were a joke. The players were nothing but meat on the slab which is true in the NFL but there was nothing to show the personalities of any of the cast. The town was depressing Sucked about as bad as a movie could. I love sports but this was just disjointed. The coach and his family were about to be run out of town on a rail, and all they cared about was where he would next coach as if it were a joke. The players were nothing but meat on the slab which is true in the NFL but there was nothing to show the personalities of any of the cast. The town was depressing in that the only thing that mattered was football. It was very unflattering to the State Of Texas if this is the way all small towns really are? And if is true then most would do anything they could to escape so that they could have a life. The worst part was the awful photography that made me dizzy. I only wish that this was on TV so I could have changed the channel. Expand
  35. Amber
    Oct 13, 2004
    0
    Friday Night Lights can't even pay the electric bill as it was terrible. Who was behind the camera a chimpanzee? I was getting dizzy.
  36. Detroit
    Oct 13, 2004
    0
    Pure trailer trash not worth the watch.
  37. PhillipB.
    Oct 14, 2004
    8
    I think there are several reasons that some people gave this fine film a zero. I'll spare you any comments on those who simply hate football players and the attention they get or believe everybody south of the Mason-Dixon line is a redneck. Having been raised in the southwest by uneducated but hard-working parents and having earned the opportunity to attend a prestigious academic I think there are several reasons that some people gave this fine film a zero. I'll spare you any comments on those who simply hate football players and the attention they get or believe everybody south of the Mason-Dixon line is a redneck. Having been raised in the southwest by uneducated but hard-working parents and having earned the opportunity to attend a prestigious academic university by way of a football scholarship, I can understand why people raised in big cities or simply outside the rural southwest may not connect with this film. They may see the tragic side of the people involved, but they may miss the heroic character of many of the young men. While I would have preferred a little less football and a little more character development, the film still hit the mark. Human dignity is where you find it. It's not always wrapped in a pretty package, and it's often not recognizable by people from a very different culture. Even the most talented screenwriter or director cannot convey the essence of a unique culture within the time constraints of modern films. Perhaps that is why Berg didn't try. But if this viewer is at all representative, Berg did succeed in creating a worthy piece of art. Expand
  38. DickE.
    Nov 5, 2004
    0
    Love football but hated this depressing film. Just awful with a jumpy cameraman and even worse acting.
  39. DaveC.
    Oct 23, 2004
    1
    Where can I get a refund. This movie was horrible! Looked like amature film making at it's finest. Almast got up and walked out.
  40. MarcK.
    Oct 27, 2004
    7
    One of the better movies I've seen so far this year, although that's not saying very much. I felt it really conveyed what the "football culture" must have been like down there at that time. One pet peeve though: When I saw the Boobie character, I thought that no way this guy was anywhere close to being of high school age with a body like that. Sure enough, I found out that Derek One of the better movies I've seen so far this year, although that's not saying very much. I felt it really conveyed what the "football culture" must have been like down there at that time. One pet peeve though: When I saw the Boobie character, I thought that no way this guy was anywhere close to being of high school age with a body like that. Sure enough, I found out that Derek Luke was born in 1974, meaning he was probably 29 when the movie was filmed! Most of the other actors were considerably younger...was Derek Luke that much of a "must have" for this picture? Expand
  41. Justin
    Oct 27, 2004
    10
    Great movie, great motivation, one of the best sports films to date, maybe not the best, but certainly in the top 10 of all time. Thorton is a great actor and keeps rolling out with excellent movies. The movie undoubtlibly has a touching effect but also rolls out with great "football" hits. Everyone should watch this.
  42. DawnM.
    Oct 6, 2004
    9
    It was like being at a nail-biter rival football game minus the sweat and beer. The shakey camera is quite annoying during calm moments, it still makes me seasick to watch (thanks nypd blue), but other than that, it's an effective tool in telling the story. The marriage of the music/soundtrack with the action and drama is seamless. It brings the story to a dramatic and drawn out It was like being at a nail-biter rival football game minus the sweat and beer. The shakey camera is quite annoying during calm moments, it still makes me seasick to watch (thanks nypd blue), but other than that, it's an effective tool in telling the story. The marriage of the music/soundtrack with the action and drama is seamless. It brings the story to a dramatic and drawn out action packed finale. I found myself yelling at the refs, roaring at good hits, and throwing my arms in the air for a well deserved touch down. there is no cheese, it's a knock down, drag out, full impact, get your butt out there and play movie. good fun. Expand
  43. JackF.
    Oct 8, 2004
    9
    I didn't believe it possible, but "Friday Night Lights" surpasses "Hoosiers", as my favorite sports movie. Billy Bob gives another example why he is among the best current actors around. Comapre Bad Santa versus Coach Gaines, and you will see why. Jack.
  44. CarolC
    Oct 8, 2004
    0
    Without a doubt one of the worst movies ever made. My first clue was the twenty unlucky ticket buyers who watched it with me on opening night. From there things got progressively worse. The photography is jumpy with only close ups which drives the viewer crazy. There is no character development at all. You care nothing at all for the characters as there is no in depth look to give them Without a doubt one of the worst movies ever made. My first clue was the twenty unlucky ticket buyers who watched it with me on opening night. From there things got progressively worse. The photography is jumpy with only close ups which drives the viewer crazy. There is no character development at all. You care nothing at all for the characters as there is no in depth look to give them any dimension. The only actor worth anything is a singer Tim McGraw the son of the late baseball player Tug McGraw who excels as the obnoxious win at all cost father to one of the players. The movie is a total mess and one could care less who wins the final game. Avoid at all costs as I would give this a negative ten if I could. The professional critics are bought and paid for to have given such a high score. What a joke. Expand
  45. WendyG.
    Oct 9, 2004
    8
    A near perfect depiction of what happens in a town where a sports team is carrying everyone else on its shoulders. The choppy filming at the beginning was surely to give it a documentary feel. Having followed a high school team into the football state playoffs (losing) and basketball tournament (winning) this film was very honest and real. I felt as if I were living all those emotions all A near perfect depiction of what happens in a town where a sports team is carrying everyone else on its shoulders. The choppy filming at the beginning was surely to give it a documentary feel. Having followed a high school team into the football state playoffs (losing) and basketball tournament (winning) this film was very honest and real. I felt as if I were living all those emotions all over again. I've never enjoyed Billy Bob Thornton more. I will recommend it to anyone who ever played high school sports or had a child on a high school team. Expand
  46. BobH.
    Oct 9, 2004
    0
    I'm dizzy from the screen jumping around as much as it did as the photography was awful. As for the movie, well, it was one of the worst screenplays I have ever seen and lacked any character development. I could not wait for it to be over. For a Saturday night opening the theater was half empty. Not even a good TV movie that is how bad it is. A terrible dissapointment considering the I'm dizzy from the screen jumping around as much as it did as the photography was awful. As for the movie, well, it was one of the worst screenplays I have ever seen and lacked any character development. I could not wait for it to be over. For a Saturday night opening the theater was half empty. Not even a good TV movie that is how bad it is. A terrible dissapointment considering the hype surrounding its debut. Word of mouth will end it in about three weeks. Avoid at all costs. Expand
  47. ericb
    Jan 19, 2005
    10
    Rivals REMEMBER THE TITANS as the best football movie ever. Includes a plot like rember the titans and football action like any given sunday...great performances by the actor portrying boobie miles and mike winchell.
  48. Courtney
    Jan 21, 2005
    10
    This was the best movie I've ever seen! It wasn't like theres cheesy movies that are so predictable it was more exciting! you really get into it! It makes you feel like your sitting in the crowd cheering for the team. At times it makes you wanna get up and yell like you do at a normal football game! And I loved the acting!
  49. EricF.
    Feb 21, 2005
    8
    The best football movie I've ever seen. It might be a little slow at times, but it feels real all the way through, and the game scenes are incredible.
  50. JoeyG.
    Jun 2, 2006
    10
    If i could give this a 11 i would give it a 15 this is the best sports movie ive seen and one of the best movies overall ive seen........i was blown away by the amazing passion and hear the actors were able to put in this amazing sports story.
  51. TylerH.
    Oct 11, 2004
    10
    Bro....this movie was sick...if you cant watch this movie and be completely moved at the overall story and the other additional stories going on as well then you should not be allowed to see anymore movies.....Billy Bob gives a masterful performance in this heroic tale of an underdog team competing for the Texas AAAAA state title.
  52. WillH.
    Oct 15, 2004
    3
    I've read the book and as soon as I saw this movie was rated PG-13 I knew it would be a ridiculous underdog story with corniness and feel-good crap abound. The book was great because it talked about the incredible racial tensions in Odessa, and how they changed the school district line to get the black students into Odessa Permian. Also, NOTE TO SPORTS MOVIE MAKERS not all tackles in I've read the book and as soon as I saw this movie was rated PG-13 I knew it would be a ridiculous underdog story with corniness and feel-good crap abound. The book was great because it talked about the incredible racial tensions in Odessa, and how they changed the school district line to get the black students into Odessa Permian. Also, NOTE TO SPORTS MOVIE MAKERS not all tackles in a football game are earth-shattering plays. There are actually some stops where the ball-carrier does not have his helmet knocked off or is knocked 8 feet into the air. And, no, the clock does not stop after a running play that doesn't get a first down. This is unless in Texas all teams have unlimited timeouts. The makers of this movie must have thought people with no football knowledge at all were watching going to watch it. I give it three points for a good performance by Thornton. Expand
  53. LaffM.
    Oct 15, 2004
    9
    Such a sad ending....but seeing winchell smile in the end makes it a beautiful story..i loved it.
  54. StuartV.
    Oct 19, 2004
    8
    I was entralled by this movie. The filmmakers took great care to focus attention on character, rather than simply falling back on a constant barrage of sports highlights and quirky moments in the locker room. That being said, the most important character in this film is the town of Odessa, Texas and the filmmakers make no apologizes for that. It's clear that the citizens of Odessa I was entralled by this movie. The filmmakers took great care to focus attention on character, rather than simply falling back on a constant barrage of sports highlights and quirky moments in the locker room. That being said, the most important character in this film is the town of Odessa, Texas and the filmmakers make no apologizes for that. It's clear that the citizens of Odessa don't care who the coach is or who scores the winning touchdown. All they care about is the touchdown, itself and what it means for town. It's both revealing and sad that the players don't get it and probably never will. This movie differs from other sports movies, especially other football movies, because it has two focii: the game and what happens to the game when it's not being played. It's seeing how that dichotomy unfurls throughout the movie, which makes this movie so special. Oh, one more thing, I realize that the football action is a bit stylized, but frankly, I've seen high school football in person and I'm not sure I'd want to watch it on film. Expand
  55. ChadS.
    Oct 22, 2004
    8
    When the father, played by (a very good) Tim McGraw can't understand why his son can't hang on to the ball, it reminded me of my temporary flash of blind rage when Hawaii receivers dropped consecutive touchdown passes, which would've put them ahead of UTEP, early second-quarter, and avoid being thumped soundly by a score of 52-20. But when the game was over, like most When the father, played by (a very good) Tim McGraw can't understand why his son can't hang on to the ball, it reminded me of my temporary flash of blind rage when Hawaii receivers dropped consecutive touchdown passes, which would've put them ahead of UTEP, early second-quarter, and avoid being thumped soundly by a score of 52-20. But when the game was over, like most rational people, I understood these players aren't professionals, and calmed down with "My Little Blue Dress" by Bruno Maddox; a book, my drug of choice to erase the temporary, I stress, temporary, trauma, of watching my favorite team lose. Peter Berg does an excellent job of depicting the cultural black hole of a small Texas town, but for my money, Mike Judge would've been the right man to helm Bissinger's book. Expand
  56. LarryT
    Oct 28, 2004
    8
    Excellently acted; Billy Bob Thornton's second best job this year (he was spectacular in The Alamo); Tim McGraw was also truly outstanding. As it was essentially a true story, it by definition could not be formulaic. It is well reflective of real life and attitudes (certainly vastly better than any of the so-called reality shows on television). It is a compelling story of effort, Excellently acted; Billy Bob Thornton's second best job this year (he was spectacular in The Alamo); Tim McGraw was also truly outstanding. As it was essentially a true story, it by definition could not be formulaic. It is well reflective of real life and attitudes (certainly vastly better than any of the so-called reality shows on television). It is a compelling story of effort, triumph and loss. Expand
  57. TonyaK.
    Mar 11, 2005
    0
    Sooo...friggin...BOR-ING!!! I fell asleep in the theater it sucked so bad! Has no point and is way to depressing, trust me, don't waste 2 hours on this crap. Do something less painful, like slam ur head in a door!
  58. armandos.
    Mar 22, 2005
    7
    Billy Bob Thornton gives an excellent performance as the coach. The movie does a good job of conveying the intensity and obsession with football in West Texas. After all, there is not much out there to get excited about, unless your into tumbleweeds!
  59. mike
    May 19, 2005
    9
    Its grate.
  60. JoeC.
    Aug 21, 2005
    9
    Very well acted. Expertly directed. Honest story told without being heavy handed. If you like Remember the Titans, Hoosiers, or Breaking Away, you'll like this film. It's a team effort -- the whole cast is memorable and there are both touching scenes and great gridiron action. Perhaps too much gridiron action at the expense of the story, but you definitely feel the pressure of Very well acted. Expertly directed. Honest story told without being heavy handed. If you like Remember the Titans, Hoosiers, or Breaking Away, you'll like this film. It's a team effort -- the whole cast is memorable and there are both touching scenes and great gridiron action. Perhaps too much gridiron action at the expense of the story, but you definitely feel the pressure of living a high school football life in a small Texas town -- for all it's glory and narrow-minded anguish. Expand
  61. JacobC.
    Apr 19, 2006
    10
    Greatest Football Movie since the Progam this movie was awesome.
  62. BrandonL.
    Feb 17, 2008
    1
    The script was complete crap so how could the movie be good. The book was amazing and helped keep up the energy of the game and the social aspect of the town, but the movie changed facts and made some moments "feel good" moments when in actuality they were horrible times.
  63. JustinS.
    Nov 24, 2004
    9
    This movie was down right GOOD, not only did it have good acting, but it made the viewer get the "Friday Night Lights" feeling. despite the camera man it was a great movie to see., but one part is not true, the ending., odessa-permian played dallas-carter in the semi-finals and lost, also the score was 14-9, then in 1989,(the next year), they went undefeated and won the state This movie was down right GOOD, not only did it have good acting, but it made the viewer get the "Friday Night Lights" feeling. despite the camera man it was a great movie to see., but one part is not true, the ending., odessa-permian played dallas-carter in the semi-finals and lost, also the score was 14-9, then in 1989,(the next year), they went undefeated and won the state championship. any way, it was a very,very good show. Expand
  64. Jan 17, 2014
    6
    While I know this came first, seeing this in comparison to the TV series is like night and day. On one hand, the TV series is phenomenal. On the other, this is not. The story just feels so abbreviated and hastened. The great part about the TV series was that while it was about football, of course, it was about so much more than that. It was about the characters and their daily lives andWhile I know this came first, seeing this in comparison to the TV series is like night and day. On one hand, the TV series is phenomenal. On the other, this is not. The story just feels so abbreviated and hastened. The great part about the TV series was that while it was about football, of course, it was about so much more than that. It was about the characters and their daily lives and then how everyone would unite on Friday to play football. In the movie, and this is to my point about the abbreviated nature of the movie, a lot of the characterization was missing and it ultimately felt almost impersonal. Sadly, this is why I could not enjoy this one a ton. Now, it was an ok movie and all, but cerainly not as great as I would have hoped. This story is clearly just better suited for television where everything can be explored in greater depth. Expand
  65. Dec 6, 2012
    8
    Thanks to winning performances from Thornton and others, "Friday Night Lights" lifts itself above the conventional inspirational sports drama by relaying a deliberately honest message and never deterring from it.
  66. Apr 10, 2013
    10
    This movies is truly great because of the way he portrays the "Texas" way of life.
    Peter Berg also did a pretty great job in developing characters because you can really relate to them.
    Ending of the movie is heartbreaking and I would strongly recommend this movie to everyone, even if you're not a football fan.
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. The film lets you get caught up in the excitement of this religion and the addictive nature of those stadium lights. Berg and cinematographer Tobias Schliessler get up close to the action, catching the hits and miscues in all their violent urgency.
  2. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    70
    Friday Night Lights is the "Black Hawk Down" of high school football movies. As exclusively as Ridley Scott's picture was about combat, this film concerns football and nothing but.
  3. 70
    When Friday Night Lights gets to the big games, the time it's spent creates an atmosphere thick with tension, one akin to the real-world experience of watching a favorite team play for its life.